Equity and the Bible A Tract Book Essay By Anthony J. Fejfar, J.D., Esq., Coif © Copyright 2007 by Anthony J.


The notion of Equity is first found explicitly in the work of the philosopher Aristotle. Aristotle asserted that an equitable exception must be made to a general rule to avoid an absurd or wrong result. In Western history, however, Equity combined with ecclesiastical law, that is Christian church law, in the medieval period. Ecclesial law often finds its origin in the Bible. When one looks at the modern Equitable doctrine of Unconscionability which renders certain contracts void, it is clear that Equity favors those who are disadvantaged, or in need. The notion that Equity favors those in need is based both on Natural Law, which is Higher “Mom” Law, as well as the Christian Bible. In the Old Testament, in the Book of Isaiah, it is clear that Judges are to favor and protect the poor and the handicapped. Similarly, as I have argued before, in the Christian Gospel in the story of Mary, Mother of Jesus, at the Wedding Feast at Cana of Galilee, it is clear that Mary


intervened in Equity to have Jesus perform a miracle, turning water into wine, and saving the wedding reception from disaster. Jesus could only act in Equity, he was forbidden, at Law, by God the Father at that point in his career to perform miracles. Finally, Jesus himself shows that he acts in Equity in the story of the lost sheep. In this parable, Jesus points out that a good shepard leaves his flock of good, healthy, sheep, in order to find and rescue a lost sheep who has strayed from the flock. Obviously, the lost sheep was in some sense liable at Law for getting lost or wandering off. The good Shepard, acting in Equity, favors the sheep most in need and goes after him, leaving the healthy, law abiding sheep to take care of themselves. Jesus, of course, is the good Shepard. Jesus will leave his flock of followers in the church to seek out a straying or lost sheep who has left the flock or the church. Strictly, speaking, this means that Jesus, and those of us who follow him are instructed to go after the “fallen away” Catholics or Christians who have left the church. In a more secular setting, we are to help the poor, the elderly, the working poor, the sick, the handicapped, even those in jail. This is real Equity.